Switch off? I couldn’t possibly!

I’m a little tired of articles about how to be an entrepreneur. Most of them are useful but a ‘5 Keys to X’ overdose leaves a nasty hangover. Sometimes you just need to stick your thumbs up at instinct and let it choose for you. Life’s short.

The mere idea that an entrepreneur can ‘never switch off’ puzzles me. Perhaps because I have fallen victim to this mindset over and over again. And I have seen the consequences of absolutely prioritizing work at the expense of everything else.

I’ve told myself, “Once I can afford to hire people I can delegate” – as if that were a solution! Once you have people working for you the responsibility increases. Not that this is a bad thing but… will I lie to myself all my life? “When I have a robot I’ll program it to do all my work-related things”…?

I might not even live long enough for the next “When X, I’ll Y”. Let’s face it; it’s the truth. If we don’t sort our priorities out today, we might never have them where we’d like them to be on our deathbeds.

Having just spent 10 days with my family and friends, I’ve seen what you really cannot switch off from, and it’s not business. Children.

At least when they are babies, their life entirely depends on you. Maybe that’s true for some businesses, but none of my clients will die if I reply to their email a few days later… Days that I will not get back if I lose them in front of a computer instead of playing with my nieces and nephews.

Now I’m back I feel refreshed. I will work hard, look after my clients, create and commit to visions for autumn, get feedback, and undertake a massive organization operation to be more effective.

Yet, I will also spend time with my friends, go to the beach, play and create music, write, go out… at least I hope to not let the work-obsessed (‘entrepreneurial’) side of me win. Come on instinct, let’s go!

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La Crisis…Time to Take Action Kids.

‘La crisis’ is trying to back us into a corner. Many people are living in fear, giving up their dreams and surrendering to a closed and somber negativity. I don’t deny that the crisis and all its threats are real. If you have a job in Spain (or anywhere) now you are lucky, especially if it’s one that truly motivates you, as is my case. Yet hiding away is not the solution. It is the hour of the entrepreneur and the SMEs (Pymes). Inaction is a crisis’ best friend. To create employment and money injections we need to create business. We need to find out what and where the international markets are, and what skills we need to fill niches quickly and easily.

If you you don’t have the right skills, go out and get them (¡fórmate!) or look for someone who already has them to join your team. Teamwork, hard work and creativity are more important than ever. In our 2.0 world, information is abundant and start-up and marketing costs are low. And in an ‘espanglis’ world we should feel particularly fortunate: English and Spanish (along with Mandarin Chinese) are the top languages in international business. So, eyes open and minds alert. It is time to turn our ‘miedos’ into productive energy, to take some risks, and to assume responsibility for our actions.